Fun Friday: 11 skills that make remote workers successful

The abrupt shift to telecommuting has led newbies to struggle with the balancing act

Fun Friday: 11 skills that make remote workers successful

It takes a new type of worker to survive the new world of work.

With the COVID-19 pandemic changing the business landscape, hiring managers are now on the lookout for professionals who can meet the demands of remote and flexible work arrangements.

The ability to work efficiently off-site is an “asset on its own,” according to the majority of hiring managers (63%) surveyed by Paychex.

But it doesn’t stop there: most companies actively upskill their employees (79%) on how to work on their own and collaborate with others in a virtual space.

Before the pandemic, remote workers were often regarded as being more productive than their office-based peers. But the abrupt shift to telecommuting has led some newbies to struggle with the balancing act.

Read more: Why remote work isn’t for everyone

The always-on culture, for example, makes it difficult for some to switch off after work, so much so that workers are overperforming and burning out as their professional and personal lives overlap.

And while technology is critical to ensuring teams stay connected and engaged, the whole system of working from home has left even digital natives – Generation Z and Millennial workers – feeling “less connected” with their teams than their senior colleagues.

How does one succeed in this new environment? Hiring managers identified the following skills as the most crucial to remote work:

  • Time management (77.2%)
  • Working well independently (61.2%)
  • Self-motivation (44.2%)
  • Organisation (44.2%)
  • Self-sufficiency (41.7%)
  • Technology literacy (34%)
  • Interpersonal skills (32%)
  • Proactive communications (28.2%)
  • Managing expectations (24.8%)
  • Proactiveness (19.4%)
  • Consistent communication (18.9%)

“When we asked hiring managers to compare remote and in-office employees, hiring managers were more inclined to indicate that remote workers were better at working independently and came well-equipped with related skills like self-motivation and self-sufficiency,” Paychex said.

“In fact, they were 63% more likely to say a remote worker excelled at time management in comparison to an in-office worker.”

Read more: Is remote work sustainable for companies?

Struggling with digital literacy
Remote workers who responded to the survey also considered time management as the most important skill for WFH (78%), but they emphasised the need for technology literacy (52%) more than hiring managers did.

Technology literacy is the top skill managers should consider training remote workers on, the study suggested.

“Remote workers valued technology as a useful tool for productivity, yet, in this analysis, remote employees reported technology skills were some of the most time-consuming to learn on their own. Considering employees might have varying levels of technological competency, it may be useful for hiring managers to consider basic training on the technologies most commonly used on the job,” Paychex said.

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